UnLoc @ Zero Project

Raising awareness activities at PLAI

Between 15-16 September 2018, took place PLAI Festival, a multicultural festival which offers the opportunity to meet new people, meet organizations who want to make their activities known and enjoy good music together.

Ceva De Spus Association is at its 6th participation at this festival. This year we participated with raising awareness activities such as:
- The Sandy Box / Pirates Treasure: Tied to the eye, the participant has to search in the box, find and identify the objects;
- Trail with a blind cane
- Climbing a ramp in a wheelchair
- Guess the spices – tied to the eyes, the participant smells and tastes different spices and foods in open recipients and has to guess what’s inside
- Basketball in a wheelchair

The ramp trial was a new one. At first sight it was accessible, and people said it was simple and they could climb alone using the wheelchair, but that was not the case. They were amazed because they couldn’t climb up but Tibi and Adi explained them. At first sight it seems accessible, but the inclination angle is too high. Most ramps in Timisoara are not accessible.

The sandbox trial is designed to make the little ones familiar. Covered to their eyes they have to find out what we hid under the sand, 50 money, a pen, eraser. It had a huge impact on the children.

Even if we are disabled, we can play as well any sport. The basketball test was reborn from Andreea and Andrei’s dream. Visitors could throw their basket from the special basketball chair.

At the white cane trial, we wanted to show how hard it is for blind people to travel through the city. Radu explained, from his viewpoint as blind, how difficult is for him .

The spice trial. We wanted to show how difficult it is for blind people to guess ingredients in the kitchen. Cristina and Eli explained to the people how hard it is for blind people to cook.

During those 2 days of PLAI, we succeeded to change the mentality about people with disabilities. Also, some people have been amazed how much power we have to overcome all the obstacles we face in life.

We have Something to Say at Flex

Between 17th – 19th October 2018 we participated at a disability awareness raising, organised at Flextronics. It was part of an international event in Flex, People with Disability Awareness Week. We were invited to be their partner in Timisoara this year.

Some of the members of our association met with the employees in two Flex locations in town. They presented and offered two books, Tell me Eli and the poem book of Dana Maier. They projected films about inclusion, community living and accesibility. Andreea, Eli, Martin and Cosmin talked with the employees about the activities of our association and our goals. They shared they experience as persons with disabilities and the challenges of everyday life.

On Friday, we organised a wine tasting for the employees, with Zoli’s help. Vineri, împreună cu Zoli, am organizat o degustare de vin pentru angajați. It was an aoccasion to know each other better and to show our abilities. We hope that we contributed at changing the attitude towards persons with disabilities.

We thank Flex for their collaboration!

Self-advocates Conference 21-23 September 2018

It was held in Hungary, in Szarvas, in an accessible hotel center. We all enjoyed the fresh, quiet and relaxing air, but we also worked.

On Friday, as we arrived we made the first bath in the thermal pool and it was great. Meanwhile we made the accommodation and we went to the first session which was team work, but not anyway, but with our belly full of goodies, such as cold apricot soup or forest fruits – the best and most delicious dishes . In the first afternoon we organized 3 groups of 5 people with the task of identifying leisure alternatives. We chose at least 3 locations where we can spend our free time on Saturday afternoon.

Day 2 began with breakfast, and after came the second working session, where we all said why we are in Ceva De Spus. After that, we had an introduction about inclusion, a click happened and we cried because we remembered how many labels people put us.In the afternoon we spent our free time as we wanted.
On Sunday we discussed the organization’s action plan by the end of the year, and we made the conference evaluation. It was very short, but yet very beautiful.

Ceva De Spus has a New Executive Board

On Wednesday,12th September 2018, took place the General Assembly of our Association. Besides presenting the narrative and financial report, elections were held with this occasion.

The New Executive Board has the following members:
Co-presidents: Smultea Simona and Moldovan Elisabeta.
Vice-Presidents: Herbei Andreea and Novakovits Tiberiu.
Secretary: Bahnariu Andrei.

They will ensure leadership for the next 2 years, with the commitment to respect the objectives of our Association.
- Accessibility
- Deinstitutionalization
- Awareness

We wish to the new Executive Board good luck !

Conference of the European Platform of Self-Present Organizations in Peniche

From 9 to 13 April Elisabeta Moldovan and Zoltan Szoverdfi participated to the conference of the European Platform of SelfAdvocates Organizations in Peniche, Portugal.
EPSA, in short, is a member of Inclusion Europe and is an organisation of people with intellectual disabilities.

Monday they arrived at 15 o’clock and visited a day care center for people with intellectual disabilities.
There they met with more disabled people from different countries in Europe.
They visited a mill where people with disabilities work with flour.
Eli loved the mill and the things people with intellectual disabilities do very much.
After the visit they went with the group of selfadvocates at the restaurant.

On Tuesday, they participated in a workshop on the abuse of women with intellectual disabilities.
Eli was interested in this subject. She liked to find out that abuses can be of several kinds.
The workshop held until 17 o’clock.
After the conference the selfadvocates with the support persons went to the hotel.
They had a free hour until dinner.
At 19:30 they went to dinner.

On Wednesday, self-deputies with intellectual disabilities and the support persons were taken with a bus to a school.
They continued with the topic of abuse against people with disabilities.
Eli held two workshops.
She worked on groups. Eli had a group of 10 people with whom she worked very well.
One of the workshops was about how selfadvocacy is in Romania.
The second workshop was about how to live in the community and not in residential institutions.
After lunch, they were three activities that Eli could choose from.

On Thursday, selfadvocates from different countries shared what activities they do in their countries in Europe.

Friday was the meeting of the EPSA leadership group. They discussed what they should do in Birmingham. Eli is in the EPSA board and participated in the talks.
Eli liked most of the conference that every organization was able to show what it did in the country it came from.
In Birmingham, at the World Congress, Eli will present her illustrated book about her life in institutions.

Inclusive Art

“Becoming Eli”

“Becoming Eli” is the first graphic novel in Romania that dares to address a tough topic – abandonment, isolation, abuse and its consequences. Written and illustrated by Dan Ungureanu, the book introduces us into the world of Eli – in fact, in the world of thousands and thousands of children abandoned in residential institutions, later becoming adults, the majority with disabilities.
The story follows the evolution of the character, from a child left in the care of the state to an adult able to maintain itself and an activist for deinstitutionalization and for the rights of people with disabilities. Each chapter is based on an interview by the author to Eli, following in chronological order significant episodes of her life (first memories in the special school, moving from one institution to another, life in the community, difficulties in adapting to permanent changes, etc.) .

The novel aims to familiarize the general public with the issue of isolation and raise awareness about the difficulties faced by institutionalized people, including those related to integration and adaptation to life in the community, but also the presentation of existing alternatives: deinstitutionalization and the creation of inclusive community services.
In March 2017 there were still over 19,000 children and 18,000 adults with disabilities in residential institutions under state protection. Protection from institutions means abuse. It’s the beating from those who should care for you. It is the daily terror of the lack of security, the constant fear of beating, the lack of access to good and enough food, heat, hygiene, intimacy. There’s no choice to make your own decisions – including whom you are sleeping with, when you walk around or how you get dressed.

There are alternatives: community based support services where people with disabilities can learn how to live an independent life, starting from how to turn on the cooker stove, how to shop, how to pay for expenses, to work, have fun, set up a family, live a full life with its ups and downs. Deinstitutionalization is the process of transition from institutions to such support services. Deinstitutionalization is not the alternative but the way to alternatives. We can be together with the thousands of Eli from Romania!

Editorial project co-funded by the National Cultural Fund Administration, 2017.
All proceeds from the sale of the book go to Ceva De Spus Association.
Details on the facebook page of the book, “Spune-mi Eli/Becoming Eli”.
Press contact: Despina Ungureanu, despina.iancu@gmail.com, 0720036993

Stop violence against women with disabilities

During 25-28 of September, Eli and Andreea went to Brussels for a training course organized by Inclusion Europe.
Together with our support person we arrived safely to Brussels.
There we met the director of Inclusion Europe and other self-advocates from several countries.
On the first day we met with other self-advocates.
Then the director of Inclusion Europe, Milan, explained us which are the main institutions in the EU.
The theme of the training was stopping violence against women with disabilities.
Juuultje from Netherlands presented a study on violence against women with disabilities in residential institutions.
Every week 50 women in the European Union die because of their husbands’ violence.
Violence against women with disabilities is three times higher.
Violence against women with disabilities living in residential institutions is two times higher than in the community.
Violence can be at different types: Physical violence, sexual violence, verbal violence, psychical violence, etc.
On the second day we worked in teams of 4 and prepared the meeting with the members of the European Parliament.
We worked with Maureen, the president of Inclusion Europe.
After we finished we had dinner with Senada who is self-advocate from Croatia and with Maureen, president of Inclusion Europe. We discussed how to work better more efficient with Sara, who is representing us in Inclusion International.
On the 3 day we went to the European Parliament to meet with Mrs. Maria Grapini, Member of the European Parliament.
We were invited to her office and talked about guardianship, violence against women with disabilities, life in residential institutions and deinstitutionalization.
We had half an hour to discuss these important issues.
Mrs. Grapini gave us a painting and a badge with the flags of Romania and the European Union.
She promised to support us in accessibility, deinstitutionalization and guardianship.
Now we have to meet her in Timisoara and work together.
After the meeting, we all gathered at Inclusion Europe and told each team how the meeting was at the European Parliament.
Then we went to our homes.
We also visited the city because Andreea was for the first time in this city and had her first airplane flight.
Andreea was very nervous but she managed well.
We hope Mrs. Grapini will keep her promises and will support us in our work to improve the quality life of persons with disabilities.

Andreea and Eli







Armonia trams are accessible!

On Friday I was with two of my collegues from Ceva de Spus on a walk.
We tried the new accessible trams.
We wanted to see if wheelchair users can travel by tram.
We started our journey from the post office and we wanted to arrive to the cathedral.
Once we got to the station, we called the telephone line for people with disabilities.
A nice lady answered the phone.
She asked the driver from the first tram to help us get in.
But the driver didn’t know how the ramp is working.
The second driver failed to use the ramp so we couldn’t use the following tram.
The third tram came but the driver didn’t have the remote control.
The forth tram was a success as the driver managed to lower the ramp.
I was very happy I could get in.
I can say that all wheelchair users have the opportunity to travel by tram.
All you need to do is to call the telephone line and ask for help.
I hope the drivers will be all trained on how to use the ramp.
I hope more wheelschair users travel by tram as they are accessible for all.

On Friday, me and two collegues from Ceva de Spus, went on a walk. We decided to take the new accessible trams to see how they work for wheelchair users. We wanted to travel from the main post office to the cathedral.

Once we got to the tram station, we called the disability hotline the transport company offers (Green Line – 0800.410.415)

The operator was very kind and announced the driver from the first tram that we need help to get in.

As the tram arrived in the station, the driver got off, opened the box and took out the remote control. Unfortunately, the activation light was not functioning indicating that the elevator is not working.

We didn’t give up, we called the operator once again telling him that we couldn’t get in.The operator announced the next driver but he told us: I can’t help you, I don’t have the key!

The following driver failed to find the way the remote control is activated so we decided to try the forth tram. We called the operator and asked for another tram. After a couple of minutes, 3 different trams came, two old ones and one new accessible tram. The drivers worked together and one of them remembered that you need to push the doors harder to activate the remote control. This allowed us to use the ramp and get in the tram. Although it was very difficult, the drivers were very kind.

At first, I was sad I couldn’t get into the tram but in the end it was worth the effort. I managed to have a ride after a long time.

As a conclusion, we can use the new trams, we can use them as any other citizen. I advise wheelchair users to get out more often and use the trams so that drivers don’t forget how to use the elevator.

I hope all wheelchair users will fiind it easy to got o school, to work or shopping once these accessible trams are available in our city.

Gerber Andrei-Heinrich
Ceva de Spus member









Page 1 of 712345...Last »